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Chinese Manufactures questions

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by Kurt Foster, May 1, 2013.

  1. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Here's one i would like to know more about.

    it's been said there is one primary manufacturer in China making mics that are badged for various audio companies. can someone tell me who that company is, where the plant is, which mics they manufacture and which companies sell their mics?

    i would also be interested in information on any other manufacturers in China as well. maybe we can get a comprehensive list going so all readers will have a heads up on what is what and which mics are essentially the same.
  2. Audiofreek

    Audiofreek Active Member

    I used to be these guys,not sure if they are still at the top of the heap in 2013 though.

  3. GDP

    GDP Guest

    Try contacting Crown and Radio Shack since we all know the Crown microphones are quite nice and they get their capsules from the same company in Taiwan that RadioShack gets theirs from. A couple of simple phone calls might do the trick? At least it's a starting point. I've also seen some ribbon microphones by different manufacturers that all appear to look very similar to one another. We all know they're coming from a single Chinese manufacturer. So try the telephone since Alexander Graham Bell worked this problem out over 100 years ago for us. And it's so much easier today since you press buttons on your phone like you do on your audio equipment and computers. It's so much easier to comprehend pushbuttons over spring loaded dials. I used a digital console like that some years ago where every time you turned up the dial it would turn itself back down again. And then everybody screamed at me even though it wasn't my fault. I had no choice but to blame the equipment. OS 1.0 no no no. So much for SSL.

  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    thanks Remy.

    i know someone who hangs around here will know who they are. it's not a mystery ... i just forgot who it is.. 797 is one of them but i think audiofreek is correct that some other company is doing the bulk of it now.

    i'm pretty sure that MXL. Marshall, and Studio Projects / Joe Meek- PMI's stuff are among them.
  5. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I'm surprised that the Joe Meek stuff is in that bunch. I'm certainly not doubting you pal, just saying I find it odd that Meek is in that crop of cheap Chinese made stuff....

    Okay... wait... I take that back. I just went to the Joe Meek product home page and saw that they are selling SD and LD's for around $200 -$300.

    I'm more surprised now that Joe Meek is selling cheap microphones, when they had such a solid reputation for so many years as a manufacturer of mid-level "boutique" gear, like compressors and channel strips.

    Has the company been sold?

    Obviously, I'm way out of touch with what is happening these days, gear-wise.
  6. Audiofreek

    Audiofreek Active Member

    Quite a few familiar faces here:http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CDIQFjAA&url=http://www.alctron-audio.com/enindex.asp&ei=qpKCUeT6LKSkiQKXwoCgCQ&usg=AFQjCNFxh2PITlg7NVZvfcXJUp8tWGnCxg&sig2=JzeRH3Z2i72vCmo6IfDZ8g&bvm=bv.45960087,d.cGE
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Donny, PMI / Studio Projects owns Joe Meek ... has for years.
  8. Audiofreek

    Audiofreek Active Member

    These lesser known guys build for Alctron:http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=8&cad=rja&ved=0CIABEBYwBw&url=http://recordinghacks.com/microphones/ShuaiYin&ei=uq-CUdu-CqiXiAKby4D4DA&usg=AFQjCNGKXFF0XnsO9sa7ASwvhEupwqopiw&sig2=d6tdbDpPggAVhyt425bNLA
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    :redface: embarrassingly i admit i am not very familiar with the current crop of mics available from asia. i cannot make a correlation to any of the mics pictured. i see some that look like mics from Blue ... (that can't be right can it?) and others that look like MXL / Marshalls, Cascade.

    i am sure someone here has an insiders view into this question ... DVD Hawk?

    it would be helpful to me and to others i am sure who will be viewing this thread in the future if someone could post something simple that says; "this mic, sold by this company, is manufactured by this manufacturer, at this facility" ... please and thank you. any information about particular mics that are sold under 2 or more badges would also help. it would be nice if we could compile a list, so the next time someone asks; "what's the best mic for vocals that cost less then 25 bucks?" we can point them to this thread.
  10. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Kurt:"thanks Remy".

    LOL!!!!!!!! I sent a PM to Chris that I thought that was her! It has "remy" written all over those posts!

    I like my mics like I like my women...(your preferred quote here)
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

  12. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Sorry Kurt, I don't have any insider information on the topic. I'd share the info if I had it. I was watching this thread hoping to learn more about that myself.

    Not many of my customers are interested in LDC mics, whether they're bonafide high-end studio mics, or the cheap knock-offs.

    I'm just a piddly little a/v contractor in the middle of nowhere, so I can't support more than two mic lines and make the annual dealer quotas. So, I have to deal with the brands I trust most. And if I think someone else makes something better suited for your application, I'll get it through a distributor, or if necessary, pay full retail for it and not make a cent on it - (people, and the right product, over profits).

    Since I deal largely with church and schools, a significant part of my business is wireless systems. So I need reasonably durable wireless mics that can take being dropped a few times, while sounding good, and rejecting feedback. It doesn't seem like too much to ask of mics in the $600 - $900 price range. But plastic crap prone to breakage, premature internal failure, and costly call-backs, are not my idea of a good time - or a good business model.

    Cheap mics built to a price-point are one thing, but worse yet - all the legendary mic companies who have moved their manufacturing to China and ruined their stellar reputation, for the sake of higher margins. And that doesn't account for the items still technically "made in" their home country from what are now Chinese parts. When I saw the price of one of my AKG best sellers drop 30% while it claims it's still made in Austria - you gotta figure the parts got cheaper, in every sense of the word, somewhere along the way.

    The handful of companies I've dealt with, who at the very least, have moved their low-end lines to China, claimed they had their own exclusive manufacturing facilities under the watchful eye of their own expatriate management and quality control team. - keeping them in good supply of sauerkraut and schnitzel while they kept the company standards high. The real-world results have not been very good from my experience, so I stopped dealing with my longest standing wireless mic vendor (AKG) a couple years ago. They tell me profits are up. I ask, "for how long?", and, "does that include all the defective returns?" and, "who's going to pay for my time constantly making service-calls cleaning up your messes?" Even if it's under-warranty I lose credibility with the customer, and valuable time. And the trend is snowballing, as I was politely bitching about in audiokid's "Off Shore Manufacturing..." thread a few months ago, more and more products are being built elsewhere every year.

    It stinks that those jobs went to a largely exploited workforce, but good luck finding a company that doesn't build something in China these days.

    I believe even our beloved SM57 / SM58s are made south of the border in Mexico, but at least they still perform as well as ever. I can't testify to the rest of the Shure line, because I don't have anything else within easy reach to read the "Made In" tag at the moment.

    I only know of one mic company that seems to build virtually everything 'stateside' - (Audix) so I've been giving them as much of my business as I can.

    And there are companies building products in China successfully that are worth owning (and selling), so it CAN be done.

    To wit: Add Toft to the list of PMI holdings.

    [ Not any help at all to the topic, I know, but at least I got that off my chest ]
  13. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Wow!! There are a lot of ways to finish that sentence.
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I agree that it's a great idea. As to the best mic for 25 bucks, we'd need a model on the list that included a tin can and a length of string... ;)
  15. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I think the days of a single manufacturer re-badging or manufacturing a complete build-out are past. A lot of the boutique builders outsource for some parts but assemble in-house as well as QC. Like Hawk, I believe this isn't always a good thing. But to be fair, especially when comparing products like AKG legacy builds to new modern techniques, the price to build things like they did in the old days would make those products unavailable to almost everyone.

    797 is probably still the largest outsourcer for mic builds but the proliferation of inexpensive gear with an innumerable amount of brands makes me believe that there are several other large companies doing this business. When you start getting into the information available on these manufacturers, you'll find that there are only a few different shells and body designs but an endless supply of innards and claims to fame. Makes you realize just how many laptops have an interface hooked to them and some sort of musical compositions are being captured at any moment of any day.

    As to having a purpose for identifying the "best $25 mic" I still believe that directing folks towards something more useful and longer lasting in terms of quality and resale value is a better row to hoe. Ad nauseum for sure (Shure??) but SM57/58 will always be the best answer for those that don't know and at least the sales stay somewhat on this continent.

    This isn't meant in say there aren't some good quality products coming out of the Chinese machine these days.....there are a number of boutique builders whose products are on the same level as the 'good ole boys' stuff at a fraction of the cost and most have outsourced parts built to spec. The fact is, its simply cheaper to pay labor $1.27/hr than $25.00/hr and while the argument could be made that the quality of the parts might be inferior, the spec'd outsourcing can keep this from happening to a point. My take is, which makes more financial sense, some things being equal....when you have clarity and depth of field as close or equal parameters, would you rather pay an extra $1000 or simply turn a knob on the EQ to make it sound the same? On the other hand and especially in the case of inexpensive condenser mics, there are things in the soundscape you simply can't fix and after a time, these things effect the recording and the processing to the point of frustration.

    Marketing is a very effective tool for the proliferation of less than satisfactory devices that look expensive but have the skin-deep effect in spades. People will flock to golden idols if enough hyperbole is presented and confirmed by others.
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Bumps in all the right places and a sparkling personality......
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Rode manufactures in house in Sydney.
    SE has their own factory in China
    Behringer has their own factory in China

    From what i have been able to find most are from Felio, Beijing, 797 Audio, and Ningbo Alctron. they manufacture for M Audio, Blue (Ball), CAD, Nady, Samson, Studio Projects / Joe Meek (PMI), MXL, Marshall, Cascade, Superlux. i also read that you can go to several Chinese manufacturer sites and see the same mics we know as the Nady RSM-1 and RSM-2. Here's an interesting article from SOS on the topic.



    Home Page - English website - Powered by Wangzt!

    Guangdong Takstar Electronic Co., Ltd.

    Microphones - China Mics manufacturer - Chinese-Microphone.com

    ShuaiYin Microphones | RecordingHacks.com

    Are these 3 C-12 clones essentially the same mic?


    APEX 460 1002-0.jpg Avantone CV-12

    t3_package.gif SP t3
  18. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    like I like my coffee ... ground up and in the 'fridge.

    ...bent and going downhill...

    Say, it really would be cool to snoop out the origins of these expensive mics. When inquiring on the phone, one should treat this as a business-to-business (B2B) thing. Pretend you are interested in contracting mics to be made for your own brand. I think we'd all buy the "Davedog Special" ribbon or the "Dynamic audiokid" any day.
  19. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Similar but way different in reality. The Apex is the most modded mic in history me thinks! There are several businesses that have kits and offer this service for lots of mics and all of them feature this mic as its flagship for saving and improving. They use a pretty hot tube stock so that may the marketing shill that gets you in the door....Hotter mics always sound better solo'd up ....right? It shares the same case as the Avantone. The capsules are different sizes but similar in their parental lineage. The Studio Projects mic is in a different shaped case and has the largest capsule of the three. I almost bought one of these many years ago and to their defense , since PMI Group bought the brand they have become better sounding mics although my old B3 is an awfully good mic for certain things. In comparison to the stock mics that I have heard...and I have heard ALL of these three, the Avantone is heads above them all, The T3 is a good utility and probably great on some things and the Apex is a toy until its modded. I suppose "toy" is a harsh assessment since its half the price or less of the other mics....it does pass signal but it suffers from that same problem of all the cheap mics in its range and that it is an incomplete collection of parts without a firm engineering direction. The Avantone doesnt suffer this as neither does the SP.
  20. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i was reading up on this at some other forums as you posted that Dave and the consensus is the Aventone and the Apex are the same mic but there is better QC with the Avantone ... but is that worth $300? perhaps the Apex's are rejected Avantones?

    There's some speculation that the better reviews / responses to the Avantone may actually be due to the powdercoat red finish. It looks better so it sounds better ???

    Front End offers a Peluso cap for the Apex @ $250 and with a tube change word is they are pretty good.

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